What is a Return Interview?

Local councils, like Leeds City Council have a responsibility to offer a return interview to all children and young people who have been reported as missing to the police.

The word “interview” sounds quite formal but really it’s just an opportunity for you to talk to a responsible adult about why you went missing. It’s not about being in trouble or getting anyone else into trouble.

Why we do return interviews

We do return interviews to listen to you and understand your reasons for running away or for being reported missing. Then together, with you, we will try and work out what we might be able to do, to help and support you, so that you don’t feel the need to run away or so that you are not reported missing again.

If you are being harmed, or feel scared, or sad, or if you have a problem that you feel you can’t deal with, the return interview gives you an opportunity to talk to someone about this and what help and support you might want.

The return interview also provides an opportunity for us to give you information which might help you to stay safe

What happens in a return interview?

The interview usually lasts for about an hour, but you can have as long as you need to talk.

We try and meet with you alone, so that you feel able to talk to us, but if you would rather, you can have an adult you trust, such as a parent, carer or teacher with you. We can also meet you somewhere where you feel safe and comfortable.

We will you about why you went missing, what happened while you were away, where you spent your time and who you were with.

We will write down what you tell us so that we don’t forget what you say. At the end of our meeting we will check with you what we have written is correct.

In order to ensure your safety, we will need to share the information with other people. We will tell you who with, why and what information we are sharing.

At the end of your return interview, you can decide what, if anything, you might need or want to do next.

We will make sure that you know how to get help or support and that you know who you can contact if you just need to talk again.

To request a copy of the Return Interview leaflet email: YS.Localities@leeds.gov.uk

Return interviews

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